Obama says meeting set to review potential action on guns

HONOLULU -- U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss executive actions he could take to make it harder for "a dangerous few" to get their hands on guns.

See Full Article

Obama said on his weekly radio address that he gets so many letters from parents, teachers and children about the "epidemic of gun violence" that he can't "sit around and do nothing."

"The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defence of effortlessly available guns for anyone," Obama said. "The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defence of our kids."

Obama recently directed staff at the White House to look into potential executive actions, such as expanding background checks.

Currently, federally licensed firearms dealers are required to seek background checks on potential firearm purchasers. But advocacy groups say some of the people who sell firearms at gun shows are not federally licensed, increasing the chance of sales to customers prohibited by law from purchasing guns.

A source familiar with the administration's efforts said Obama is expected to take executive action next week that would set a "reasonable threshold" for when sellers have to seek a background check. That person didn't know whether it would be based on the number of guns sold or revenue generated through gun sales.

The source, a member of a gun control advocacy group, was not authorized to discuss details before the announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. White House officials won't confirm the timing.

Obama is in Hawaii for his annual holiday vacation with his family.

In his efforts to work around a Congress that has often been politically gridlocked, Obama has made aggressive use of executive power, particularly on immigration. It has been an increasingly effective and politically accepted presidential tool. And while legal scholars are divided on whether Obama has accelerated or merely continued a drift of power toward the executive branch, there's little debate that he's paved a path for his successor.

Depending on who succeeds him, many Obama backers could rue the day they cheered his "pen-and-phone" campaign to get past Republican opposition in Congress. The unilateral steps he took to raise environmental standards and ease the threat of deportation for millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally may serve as precedent for moves they won't cheer.

The National Rifle Association opposes expanded background check systems. The organization's Institute for Legislative Action says studies have shown that people sent to state prison because of gun crimes typically get guns through theft, the black market or family and friends.

Also, many purchases by criminals are made from straw purchasers who pass background checks. "No amount of background checks can stop these criminals," says the group's website.

Obama has consistently expressed frustration after mass shootings, saying it shouldn't be so easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.

Going into his final year in office, Obama said his New Year's resolution is to move forward on unfinished business.

"That's especially true for one piece of unfinished business, that's our epidemic of gun violence," Obama said in his weekly address.

He said a bipartisan bill from three years ago requiring background checks for virtually everyone had huge support, including among a majority of NRA households. But the Senate blocked it.

He said tens of thousands of Americans have since died as a result of gun violence.

"Each time, we're told that commonsense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, so we shouldn't do anything," he said. "We know that we can't stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?"



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Pepper-spraying anti-Donald Trump demonstrators brawl with pro-Trump marchers in California: Police [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    Brawls between a gang of pepper-spraying anti-Trump counter-protesters and proponents of the U.S. president broke out on a Southern California beach over the weekend, authorities said. The violence erupted when pro-Trump marchers, of about 2,000 people, at Bolsa Chica State Beach reached a group of about 30 counter-protesters, some of whom began spraying the irritant, said Capt. Source
  • NATO wants to spend over $3B US to bolster satellite, cyber defence

    World News CBC News
    NATO plans to spend 3 billion euros ($3.24 billion US) to upgrade its satellite and computer technology over the next three years as the Western military alliance adapts to new threats, a senior official said. Seeking to deter hackers, and other threats including Iranian missiles, the investments underscore NATO's recognition that conflicts are increasingly fought on computer networks as well as in the air, on land and at sea. Source
  • 8 feared dead in Japan avalanche

    World News CBC News
    Eight people are feared dead and two were in critical condition on Monday after an avalanche hit a group of high school students and teachers climbing in central Japan. It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were students, an official said. Source
  • New York cop quits to avoid firing after shooting unarmed teen

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager resigned Sunday from the New York Police Department to avoid being fired following a disciplinary trial in a case that sparked outrage over police use of deadly force against black men and boys. Source
  • 'Nasty cyclone' could bring 300 km/hr winds to parts of northeast Australia

    World News CBC News
    Thousands of Australians abandoned their homes as a powerful cyclone bore down on coastal towns in Queensland on Monday, while others ignored authorities' advice to evacuate with winds forecast to reach up to 300 km per hour. Source
  • Police search for suspects after deadly nightclub shooting in Cincinnati

    World News CTV News
    CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police searched for suspects in a nightclub shooting that left one man dead and 15 other people injured and sent club patrons diving to the ground to dodge bullets in what they described as a chaotic and terrifying scene. Source
  • Trump plans to have son-in-law head up new government office

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump is set to announce a new White House office run by his son-in-law that will seek to overhaul government functions using ideas from the business sector. A senior administration official said Trump on Monday will announce the White House Office of American Innovation. Source
  • South Korea to seek arrest warrant for impeached ex-president Park

    World News CBC News
    South Korean prosecutors said Monday that they want to arrest former President Park Geun-hye over the corruption allegations that triggered a huge political scandal and toppled her from power. The announcement came about one week after prosecutors grilled Park for 14 hours over suspicions that she colluded with a jailed confidante to extort from companies and committed other wrongdoing. Source
  • South Korean prosecutors push to arrest ex-president

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korean prosecutors said Monday they want to arrest former President Park Geun-hye for the corruption allegations that triggered a huge political scandal and toppled her from power. The move comes after prosecutors grilled Park for 14 hours last week over suspicions that she colluded with a jailed confidante to extort from companies and committed other wrongdoing when she was in office. Source
  • Russians by the thousand take part in anti-corruption demonstrations

    World News CBC News
    Trump, after blaming Democrats, now also faults conservatives for failed health-care bill Source